by Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
You’ve seen the promo ads on Twitter, you know the one that displays the words “FireFox”, resembling that of the Mozilla search engine logo at the expense of head coach John Fox. Many fans and some sports writers believe that in order for the Chicago Bears to succeed they need to throw away their season and lose games so that it will force owners and vice president of operations Ted Phillips to fire Fox. But tell that to the 53 players on that roster that they need to lose games. Go ahead….I’ll wait.
Now, maybe some fans have forgotten what firing a head coach did to this team. The last time the Bears had a decent winning record was in 2012, which was the last season coached by Lovie Smith. But since 1992, which was the last time Mike Ditka coached the Bears, there have been 5 coaches and only one who has led them to several winning seasons and a Super Bowl appearance. It was a shock to the team when Lovie Smith was released. That’s when it all went downhill.
Each of these coaches had some decent seasons, including Marc Trestman in 2013, who went 8-8 but lacked the fire that is needed to lead a Bears team. So, in comes Fox straight out of Denver led by a future hall of fame quarterback in Peyton Manning. Let’s face it, when you have a quarterback who can throw and an offensive line that can block, including a defense that didn’t know when to quit, it was a recipe to win games. But in that final playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, it wasn’t about the quarterbacks, it was about the defense.
You see, the dueling quarterbacks were almost identical. Their completion attempts were almost the same, even their passer rating was the same. But the defense made the difference. The Denver Broncos could not pressure Andrew Luck enough and that made the difference. As they say, defense win games.
The Bears now have a defense that when completely healthy will be even more lethal than they are now. If linebacker Jerrell Freeman were to come back this season, the defense would be in competition as the number one defense in the league. But the mentality of these warriors is not to play to lose. They are making every effort to win games, solidifying a pride they haven’t felt in a long time.
They are fully aware of the history behind the Monsters of the Midway and they are determined to keep that culture alive by winning games. To ask them to lose is against everything they have worked hard for.
In the past several drafts the Bears have produced some key players on both offense and defense. Last year it was running back Jordan Howard, linebackers Nick Kwiatowski and Leonard Floyd, defensive end Jonathan Bullard and offensive lineman Cody Whitehair. The 2017 draft also produced some key players running back Tarik Cohen, safety Eddie Jackson, tight end Adam Shaheen and of course quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The latter two remains to be seen in what they can produce.
With all these key pieces in place, it is possible that the Bears can have a winning season. But if that happens, does that mean Fox will stay and the Bears are back to square one? VP Ted Phillips did not waste time in letting Trestman go after only two seasons. Even if the Bears ended with a winning record this season, it does not mean that Fox is safe. The McCaskey’s have not forgotten the previous seasons nor the expectations they had for Fox.
The question is do the owners want to start from scratch all over again with a new head coach or are they willing to just replace the offensive coordinator with one who can develop plays to the strengths of Trubisky and the offense?
The powers-that-be will do what is best for the team regardless of the season record. Even if the Bears end the season with an 11-5 record, it will not change the direction general manager Ryan Pace in terms as to where he sees the team going. They realize the error they made in judgment when they passed up on Bruce Arians for Trestman. I don’t see them making the same mistake twice. (Well, at least I hope not.)
Against opposition, the Bears need to keep a winning culture alive through this season and going forward. These players are not built or meant to lose for long periods of time. Look at the Cleveland Browns, who are so sick of losing that they have forgotten how to win. It has stripped them of a belief that it is possible. So I say keep on winning! This way if the right coach is available, he will want to invest the next several years in Chicago.
Chat about the Bears with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63
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